“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before – beware lest ye also – being led away with the error of the wicked – fall from your own stedfastness.” [2Pe.3:17] “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh – ye shall die; but, if ye – through the Spirit – do mortify the deeds of the body – ye shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God – they are the sons of God. (15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear – but ye have received the Spirit of adoption – whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” [Ro.8:12-15]
All who are alive on this earth – in this world – right now – are, one way, or another — being described in these two particular portions of God’s Word. We are either being led away with the error of the wicked, or we are being led by the Spirit of God. Therefore, there are two things we must never lose sight of – or, two things we must never forget: First, we must never forget where it is that we are; and Second, we must remember that we are all being led from here to eternity by one of two influential ways of thinking! In regards to the first premise of where we are – of which we should constantly be conscious — we are in this lost, dark, trial-and-sorrow-filled, sinful and cursed world. Yes, this world truly is (just as Ps.23:4 describes) — “the valley of the shadow of death” – and, we are all – one way or the other — being led through it. And, this world is not our friend.
The context of 2Pe.3:10 describes the firey destruction and end that this fallen-in-sin world is inevitably hastening toward. The Holy Spirit of God, through the apostle Peter, so graphically and explicitly tells us: “But the day of the Lord will come – as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat – the earth also – and the works that are therein – shall be burned up!” This event will take place the same day that the Spirit through John describes from Re.20:11: “And I saw a great white throne – and Him that sat on it – from whose face – the earth and heaven fled away – and there was found no place for them!” This present world has been, and right now is – literally passing away right before our eyes — unto its just and righteous perdition that will most certainly come to pass at the all-glorious and all holy return of the Almighty Lord Jesus Christ.
As true believers and followers of the Lord Jesus, we – by God’s grace – have an unbreakable, eternal relationship with Him. It is Christ – and Christ alone – that will get us safely through the dark and evil “death-valley” of this world! Praise His wonderful Name, what is descriptively declared from 1Jn.5:19 rings completely true for us: “And we know – that we are of God – (lit.) and the whole world – in the Wicked One lies.” It is no wonder why 1Jn.2:15-17 imperatively warns us to: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world – the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world – the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world! (17) And the world passeth away – and the lust thereof – but he that doeth the will of God – abideth forever.”
It is the way of this world to think of, and bring in, a New Year with a spirit of revelry and riotous activity. But, this is the common way of wantonness in which the Wicked One leads his captives! Nevertheless, let us, by the Holy Spirit of grace remember and heed His divine exhortation: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, immovable – always abounding in the work of the Lord – forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain – in the Lord.” [1Co.15:58]
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter